A child bride married at ten, a mother at thirteen
The fate of many grandmothers in the last century
Children betrothed at birth, promised to each other
To unite families and keep farms and lands intact.
She had to blend into an extended family, the norm
A life of service to one and all, childhood sacrificed
Her young body and mind steeled in resolve, strong
To flow with the tide, her choice was not an option.
No birth control, no voice for this child bride
She carried on quietly bearing with fortitude
The vicissitudes of what life threw at her
She laughed, cried and coped with her world.
Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications, including the National newspaper The Scotsman, The Grind, New Voices and Gutter magazine. She won the Margaret Thomson Davis Trophy for her novel ‘Twice Born.’(2008). Her second novel ‘Bombay Baby’ was published by Dahlia Publishing Limited in 2011. ‘Boxed In’ a short story collection e-book was published by The Pot Hole Press in 2013. She was commissioned along with 21 other writers and artists to write a story for Glasgow Women’s Library anthology 21 Revolutions for its 21 st birthday in 2013. One of her stories is in the anthology, launched on August 7th 2015, ‘Butterfly Rammy’ a commissioned short story for the Edinburgh Fringe show 2015. Her story ‘Pavilion’ was published in the anthology ‘Joe Stepped off the Train’ (4/4/2016) raising money for the charity War Child. She is working on her third novel a crime fiction set in Glasgow’s West End.
Her poems have been in Gutter magazine, New Voices, The Grind, and Visual Verse. Her poems will be published in the magazine Steel Bellows, in USA, in the late Summer /Fall of 2016. She is working on a poetry collection with a working title ‘Tartan and Turmeric.’
She has served on the committee for the Milngavie Books and Arts Festivals and on the Scottish Writer’s Centre Committee.
Her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland.